Running playtest review: Nike Lunarglide+ 3 running shoe

Here at Sport-locker.net we’re always blabbing on about football. 

And rightly so, because we do bloody love it! 

But we’re also extremely keen to venture into other sports and explore all the latest equipment and technology within them. 

So you can imagine how excited we were when Nike Running sent Sam Van Gelder their Lunarglide+ 3 running shoe along with some other gear (including some leggings!) to put through our usual rigorous playtest. 

Did they sprint over the finish line or did they run out of ideas?* Here goes… 

*Sport-locker.net takes no responsibility for these awful attempts at humour. 

History 

The LunarGlide shoe was first launched in 2009 and has fast become Nike’s most popular running shoe. The Lunarglide+ 3 is the latest version of the most supportive shoe in the Lunar collection. 

Having recently injured my hamstring playing football and being out on the sidelines for a couple of months, these shoes couldn’t have turned up at a better time.

In order to get back to fitness, my physio suggested that I got some mileage under my belt and so this is exactly what I did.

I’ve previously reviewed the PUMA FAAS 500 running shoe and am a keen runner, so there are always a few things I look for in such footwear.

First and foremost, they have to be comfortable. They also have to be supportive and I also like a running shoe to be reactive with every stride.

I haven’t had the pleasure of reviewing the previous incarnations of the LunarGlide shoe but Nike promise that this one “improves upon its popular predecessor with enhanced fit, support and breathability.”

Initial Impressions

There’s nothing quite like unboxing a fresh pair of shoes is there!? And it was no different with the LunarGlide+ 3 – a striking yet thoroughly solid pair of running shoes on first inspection.

What’s immediately apparent is that the collar area is one of the most comfortable things I’ve ever felt to hand before in a shoe. A mixture of grey mesh material and a softer red microfibre around the Achilles area makes for an amazingly soft feeling collar.

You also get the sense that the material of the upper makes for a very well ventilated running shoe, whilst the rubber sole looks thick yet still feels a little spongy. 

The midfoot area is one of, if not, the most important in a running shoe, and the straps on these look like they will be effective. 

The only concern I have is that the heel counter doesn’t seem as solid as normal running shoes, but the only way I was going to find if all my initial thoughts were correct was by putting these bad boys to the test! 

On they go! 

And I wasn’t disappointed – as soon as you put these on, you know you are dealing with the real deal!

They are incredibly comfortable. As soon as you tie the laces you feel the midfoot straps make the shoe wrap around your midfoot, giving you the sense of protection and support immediately. 

Normally in running shoes, the heel counter includes a lot of hard plastic to aid support. However, in these, Nike have cut down the weight in this particular area by opting for a mesh material instead – hence an increase in ventilation. 

This is a strange move from Nike, as most of their other running shoes have a plastic heel cup – but I’m a big fan of the new approach. You get the sense that you are still well supported in this area. 

They generally feel light and airy and the sole offers a strange sense of rigidity and spongy at the same time – I was really keen to see how this reacted with each stride strike. 

Technology talk 

There are clear “Dynamic support” and “Lunarlon” callouts on the side of the shoe and I was eager to put this technology to the test – so onto the road I went. 

Nike say that the mid-sole of a shoe featuring Dynamic Support technology is comprised of lightweight LunarLon foam that is held within a firmer foam carriage. 

The LunarLon foam sits at an angle providing additional cushioning for the outer side of the foot, for a smoother more comfortable run. 

The inner side of the mid-sole features a wedge that has been contoured to fit into the firmer foam carriage to provide stability on an as-needed basis. 

A neutral runner (requires minimal support) will not engage the wedge upon foot strike, but a runner who pronates (foot rotates inwards as it lands), no matter to what degree, will engage the rear foot wedge, to provide stability. 

With this in mind, I was keen to put LunarLon foam mid-sole through its paces. 

Nike first introduced this foam in the summer of 2008 in Beijing as the mid-sole cushioning system of the LunaRacer and Nike Lunar trainer running shoes. 

The premise is that, unlike traditional cushioning systems which only absorb energy upon impact, the LunarLite foam has proven to provide superior cushioning and significant energy return. 

This feeling was quite tangible when running. With each foot strike, I felt secure and cushioned, but I definitely felt I had an added spring in my step thanks to the mid-sole. 

The soft foam on the lateral side aided cushioning on impact, whilst the firmer foam on the medial side helped support – it really was a comfortable ride. 

Even towards the end of a long run, and when I was tired, I could still feel the shoe was helping me to get from stride to stride which is a huge positive from a running shoe. 

And to make a great running shoe an even better one, the LunarGlide+ 3 is also Nike+ ready, meaning that you can track your time, distance, pace and calories burned with each run!

Leggings! 

As mentioned in the intro, Nike also sent us a running top and leggings (yes that’s leggings – those really tight pants girls wear) along with the running shoes to review. 

And I must admit, I’m completely converted to running in leggings, or ‘Men’s Capris’ to put correctly. They are so comfortable. It’s like wearing Pro Combat shorts for football, but on the next level! 

The flat seam construction helps minimise chafing, whilst the Dri-FIT fabric helps to wick sweat away and kept me dry. There are reflective elements at the hip and side legs for safe outdoor running as well. 

What’s more, there’s even a back zip pocket with mesh divider for secure storage! 

Conclusion 

I’ve put over 20 miles into these shoes now and I can honestly say they seem to get more comfortable with every run. 

At first, I got the impression that these could have been a commercial running shoe – all style and no substance. 

But I couldn’t have been more wrong! 

The Nike LunarGlide+ 3 is a super stable, supportive and secure fitting running shoe which offers a smooth and classy ride. I felt cushioned and comfortable throughout yet they are still lightweight and highly breathable. 

The midfoot strap makes for a great fitting shoe whilst the super soft Lunarlon foam gives you great confidence with each heel strike. 

Perhaps, the only downside the running shoe is that there are no reflective features which can be a bit of a problem when running in low light at night. However, Nike have addressed this issue with the recent release of Shield version of the Lunarglide 3 – winner! 

What are your impressions of the LunarGlide+ 3? Do you wear them? If so, please leave a comment below or on our Twitter and Facebook pages letting us know what you think of them.

10 thoughts on “Running playtest review: Nike Lunarglide+ 3 running shoe

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